Conservator of Paintings Dean Yoder cleans The Crucifixion of Saint Andrew by Caravaggio. Photograph by Howard Agriesti
The Crucifixion of Saint Andrew, 1606–7. Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (Italian, 1573–1610). Oil on canvas; 202.5 x 152.7 cm. Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund 1976.2
Conservator of Paintings Dean Yoder examines The Crucifixion of Saint Andrew by Caravaggio. Photograph by Howard Agriesti
Conservation in Focus: Caravaggio’s Crucifixion of Saint Andrew
Tuesday, June 3, 2014 to Sunday, September 14, 2014
Julia and Larry Pollock Focus Gallery
For the first time, the Cleveland Museum of Art will conserve one of its treasures in front of museum visitors. The Crucifixion of Saint Andrew by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was painted in 1606–7 and is among the most important paintings in the museum’s collection. Audiences will be able to witness firsthand the skill, planning, research, and technical analysis that go in to a major conservation project. A sophisticated paintings conservation lab will be constructed in the museum’s focus gallery so that visitors can watch the process unfold. Conservator of Paintings Dean Yoder will be in the gallery on weekdays working on the first phase: cleaning the painting by removing deteriorated varnish layers and old retouching.
Bringing the traditionally unseen work of conservation to the public eye will draw attention to the museum’s sustained investment in caring for its renowned collection. Caravaggio’s painting, which is both a masterpiece and a visitor favorite, has long been identified as a candidate for a comprehensive treatment. The conservation process includes in-depth research into the materials and techniques used by Caravaggio. Cleveland’s discoveries will contribute to the international scholarly community’s better understanding of the artist’s mysterious working methods.
The focus exhibition will draw audiences into the process with high-resolution technical photography including infrared imaging, digitized X-rays, and photomicroscopy. These help us to document and study the materials and techniques used by Caravaggio in this painting. Technical images provide insight into the painting’s construction, showing how the painting’s appearance has been compromised in the 400 years since it was created.
The Cleveland Museum of Art is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this exhibition with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.